Stanford prof: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ is racist

A Stanford University professor argued that Dungeons & Dragons has undertones of racism.

He gave Wired and the Los Angeles Times a look into his upcoming “ethnography” of Dungeons & Dragons players.

A Stanford University professor argued that the popular table game “Dungeons & Dragons” has racist undertones. 

Antero Garcia — a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education — studies “how technology and gaming shape youth learning, literacy practices, and civic identities.” One of his most recent studies explores “learning and literacies in tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons and how participatory culture shifts classroom relationships and instruction,” according to his faculty profile.

He provided Wired with an inside look at his forthcoming study of Dungeons & Dragons fans, explaining that the fantasy board game is racist in nature.

According to Wired, Garcia said that players’ distrust of a player-character who was role-playing as a tiefling — a humanoid character that lives in ghettos — was inherently prejudiced.

“They were all friends, but they knew the expectation was to be suspicious,” asserted Garcia. “That relationship is racism.”

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Garcia also recently explained to the Los Angeles Times that the creators of Dungeons & Dragons have updated the game due to recent developments in race relations.

”Over the summer, in light of protests and the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, people started looking at race representations in D&D and the ways that orcs and ‘drow’ are represented in ways that make playing the game to some inherently racist,” said Garcia.

Orcs are evil fictional creatures often depicted with dark skin.

In summer 2020, Campus Reform reported that a university in Vermont created a course that teaches students how to play Dungeons & Dragons, allowing them to earn credit in the process.

[RELATED: This university is offering credit for learning to play Dungeons and Dragons]

“There is strong evidence of the benefits of having healthy recreation opportunities. It’s something that isn’t built into our society,” said the professor who piloted the course. “Making time for hobbies can help reduce stress, improve health, and performance in other areas, such as family, work and school.”

Campus Reform reached out to Garcia for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft